Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Juan Williams is Me

Posted by JHW22

Now, we all know that Juan Williams wasn't fired for his people in Muslim garb scare me line. He was fired because he consistently speaks his opinion rather than unbiased analysis. Although I don't think his comment was fire-able on its own, it's how his statement plays into the larger discourse in America, particularly the right-wing fright fest against Muslims, that was the problem. Added to many other moments teetering on that fine line between integrity and something else, he deserved the boot in NPR's eyes. (Although, to be fair, you can search him on Media Matters and see the many times he has defended the Obama administration.)

But let me demonstrate why I see the point he was making about judging a book by its cover: I am afraid of people wearing "Don't Tread on Me" garb.

Now, this fear of mine has been around for a while. Perhaps it's because I am terrified of snakes. Perhaps it's because I assume (yes, I know about the whole ass out of me thing) that the majority of people with that yellow snake symbol are most likely carrying a concealed handgun -- at least in my state. And frankly, the "Don't Tread on Me" gang are consistently telling Americans how angry they are.

Snake + Guns + Anger = Scary

That's the truth. They scare me.

So on the first day of voting in Texas, a woman was asked to either remove her "Don't Tread on Me" button or return to vote on another day without it. She stomped her foot and acted as if she weren't allowed to vote when she DECIDED to leave the polling location. She CHOSE to leave then called the media. Oh, you can Google it and see all kinds of blogs posting the same story (word for word because they don't write anything original) saying she was "denied her right to vote". And you will see comments about the Black Panthers and the new conspiracy that Michelle Obama was electioneering when she voted.

This woman said she didn't wear the button to make a political statement as she then proceeded to tell the reporter how absolutely horrible the government is (I have searched high and low for the footage I saw but I can't find it. All I can find is the same damn story copy and pasted all over the intertubes and it's to frickin' late (or should I say early) to keep looking for it.). Yep. She ranted about the government but swears that yellow button with a snake on it and the "Don't Tread on Me" message wasn't meant to be political.

Now, this woman and others in the Tea Party claim the Gadsden Flag, the Tea Party, and unicorns are not parties or party symbols so the button should not be considered electioneering... But I'm guessing that button is more than a Betty Boop or Hello, Kitty type of fashion statement. Never mind that the Republican Attorney General for the State of Texas has the Gadsden Flag in his reelection campaign materials.

I told my husband that night that the reason for no propaganda rules like that is to prevent intimidation. I find it ironic that a group of people who found two "scary" black men STANDING outside a polling location in a black district were there to "intimidate" people into voting for a black man -- or something like that. Yes, one of the black men had a billy club but from what I could tell, he was pretty nice despite the annoying white kid bugging him with a video camera. Yet the "Don't Tread on Me" gang can't understand that maybe a tiny gal like me would be somewhat intimated by a person wearing a "Don't Tread on Me" button in a state that allows people to carry concealed weapons.

Snake + Guns + Anger = Scary

And let's not forget what yellow means. It means caution.

So I was shocked, but in some way justified in my fears, when a man with a yellow "Don't Tread on Me" button held a woman down while another man stomped on her head. That woman, who looks just like me, was doing the very damn thing "Don't Treaders" fight for -- using her first amendment right in all its glory.

The man who stood on her head said he "was concerned about Rand's safety". So I guess a couple of men twice her size should be allowed to man-handle a tiny woman to protect a man already out of harm's way because they are, um, concerned? Yet, when liberals went crazy over men carrying guns to Obama rallies, we were silly. I guess a tiny gal is far more menacing than a man with a "Don't Tread on Me" button or a semi-automatic rifle.

So today, Juan Williams is me. I admit my fear is based on irrational assumptions of strangers. Yep. I admit it. The difference is that the "Don't Tread on Me" gang aren't members of a minority race or religion. The people Juan Williams is afraid of are already on everyone's suspicion list and simply because of people like Juan Williams.


Anonymous said...

Not funny. Not well written. Content garbage. You've got me sold on the tolerance piece though. You are obviously open minded as every good democrat should be! Hipocracy is alive and well in the USA. Juan Williams has a significant and powerful body of work. Until you have done as much for Civil Justice as Juan,maybe you should do some homework, and then comment, instead of baa baa baaing like a little politically correct sheep.

jhw22 said...

Well, then Mr. Anonymous, if Williams is the staunch defender of rights and the ability to express opinions, he will respect that I have an opinion and express it here. Perhaps you need to learn something from him.

Also, apparently you think that people should have some list of qualifications to have an opinion. Well, then, what the hell are yours, Mr. Anonymous -- if that is your REAL name? ;) Seems to be a little pot/kettle action. You want an opinion but don't want me to have one. I see.... quite a conundrum.

Frankly, I wrote this piece in some ways defending Juan Williams and pointing out my own hypocrisy -- more than you and many conservatives would even consider doing. Perhaps your head was too far up your ass to get that. Sorry, I can't read and explain for you. Maybe you can call Mr. Williams to help you with that reading comprehension since you seem to think no thought should be put into anything without years of writing and research or something like that.

But thanks for posting. Your comments are soooo appreciated.

Annette said...

Great job Jennifer.. I loved it and had no trouble understanding it either.. I think Mr Nobody does have a comprehension problem, but then it is hard to see when your vision is clouded by the Gadsden flag and a snake wrapped around you. Hmm maybe they are direct descendants of Eve.. didn't she like snakes

jhw22 said...

Thanks, Annette. Honestly, I was thinking I'd get criticized for going easy on Juan Williams. As much as I hate the Islamaphobia happening these days, I really could understand why he said what he said -- from a guttural, fear-based place. Funny that I was criticized by some jackass who missed the entire point. Says something about people these days -- lazy reading = lazy thinking.


jhw22 said...

To clarify my last comment, I do not fear Muslims in Muslim garb on airplanes. I just understand the fears people have based on irrationality. As I stated in the original post, I have some of those same knee-jerk fears based on media-created fears. I think we all have some of that somewhere in us but that doesn't make it right.


Annette said...

Very true. And most of the controversy and fears are media driven. I know exactly what you mean. I too have those same fears.. being around a crowd or even several of these tea baggers really bothers me.

Like you said I can understand his fear, not that I agree with it, but I do understand it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous:

Not funny. fragment Not well written. fragment Content garbage. fragment You've got me sold on the tolerance piece though. You are obviously open minded as every good democrat should be! Hipocracy sp is alive and well in the USA. Juan Williams has a significant and powerful body of work. hyperbole Where is your evidence? Until you have done as much for Civil Justice cap as Juan,maybe punc you should do some homework, and then comment, instead of baa baa baaing like a little politically correct sheep. Not funny. Poor use of satire. You have no basis for the satirical conclusion. Where is your support for Juan Williams’s work in civil rights?
Very poorly written. Clearly, you didn’t read the piece carefully.
Desert Crone